Photos and videos show Hurricane Florence's terrifying aftermath

Forty-four people were killed and 660 injured when the powerful earthquake rattled Hokkaido this month causing considerable damage

Florence has been downgraded to a tropical depression but continues to pour heavy rain along the East Coast, the National Weather Service reported Monday. Officials said they will open roads as flooding recedes and downed trees and power lines are cleared away.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said the "epic storm" was still an immediate danger as rivers continue to flood. On Monday, an employee of a flooring company was killed when a powerful tornado touched down in Chesterfield, just south of Richmond, leveling the building.

"Our roads are flooded", said Woody White, chairman of the board of commissioners of New Hanover County.

AccuWeather forecaster Dan Kottlowski said that parts of the Carolinas were hammered with 1 to 2 feet of rain, and some spots got 3 feet of rain. In the port city of Wilmington, residents awoke to the sound of power transformers blowing up, plunging homes into darkness as Hurricane Florence's howling winds whipped through the streets sending metal signs, water and debris flying. He urged residents who were evacuated from the hardest-hit areas to stay away because of closed roads and catastrophic flooding that submerged entire communities.

At least 2,600 swift water rescues have been made by emergency workers in North Carolina, the state's Department of Public Safety said. The National Weather Service considers flooding to be "devastating " once a height of 23 feet is reached for the river. "Last time we had sun was on Wednesday". An olive-green military forklift moved around huge pallets loaded with supplies.

State officials have continually warned people not to drive through water.

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Items have been brought into the city by big military trucks and helicopters, which also have been used to pluck hundreds of desperate people from atop homes and other structures.

The VA had readied mobile units to go to the region once the storm passed to provide services to stranded veterans, but it was unclear when they would actually start working in North Carolina. The Lumber, Cape Fear, Neuse and Black rivers in North Carolina, which also flooded during Hurricane Matthew in 2016, will set records this week.

Utility crews from multiple states worked to restore power, and outages were down from a high of more than 900,000 to about 320,000 homes and businesses, almost all in North Carolina.

"The storm has never been more unsafe than it is right now", North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said at a news conference yesterday.

At least 32 people are dead, including several young children, as a result of the storm, which brought unprecedented rainfall and flooding to North and SC.

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